Best QNAP 4-Bay NAS – 2020

Choosing the Best QNAP 4-Bay NAS Drive you Need

If you have been looking for the right NAS to store all those valuable gigabytes of data and have even a pinch of computer knowledge, then chances are that you have been looking at QNAP NAS. Even now as you read this sentence, you have created some form of data. Every day we use, create, need and store data. The growth and evolution in Network Attached Storage have been fast and as more people in 2020/2021 are finding the need for a NAS Server in their lives, the technology has evolved alongside it. Enclosures that can accommodate 4 media drives or 4-Bays, are NAS devices that are no longer aimed at just business users and IT professionals. Now everyone and his brother want to get their hands on a NAS solution. However, everyone’s NAS requirements are different. Some just want a cheap NAS or budget NAS to just tick a few boxes, others are looking to keep all their multimedia in a NAS based Plex Media Server and some have more advanced NAS ideas like running Virtual Machines and hosting hundreds of users from one location. We want to focus on QNAP NAS and the QNAP 4-Bay NAS range available to buy.

  • Support of over 200 Applications that can be installed on the QNAP NAS QTS GUI user interface
  • Access from over the network or anywhere in the world (with encryption) via Windows, Mac, Android and iOS systems
  • Many client applications for Mobile and Desktop Computer systems for tailored access
  • Face and ‘thing’ AI-Powered Recognition with QuMagie
  • BoXafe included to sync with G Suite and Office 365 Users natively
  • vJBOD and HybridMount for making cloud/remote storage appear local or making your NAS space available to others
  • DLNA Media streaming support to Smart TVs, Consoles, SONOS Sound Systems, FireStick and more

  • Plex Media Server Support
  • Apple Time Machine Support
  • Sync and Backup options with 3rd party cloud services
  • Supporting multiple users and multiple security credentials at once
  • Business-class Surveillance software (Surveillance Station) and 2 cameras licences with every NAS, as well as the graphical improved QVR Pro and 8 Camera Licenses with more powerful units
  • Backup Software for USB, Cloud, NAS-to-NAS and general file servers with Hybrid Backup Sync 3
  • iTunes Media Server Support

Best 4-Bay QNAP NAS – Performance

How fast a NAS server will operate day today is important! Between Upload/Download speed, as well as Read and Write speeds internally, NAS Performance is possibly (after price) one of the most important things to consider when buying your NAS. Finding the NAS server platform that can perform the tasks you require, whilst not spending too much can be tricky as most NAS units in the QNAP 4-Bay range are all targeted at different audiences. One look at the NAS devices below shows that the TVS-472XT and TVS-473e are easily the most powerful. Featuring more advanced CPU and RAM options than the other NAS units, they are also some of the most expensive NAS devices available. If we move towards the middle of the pack, we see 4-BAY QNAP NAS units like the QNAP TS-453B and the TS-453Be at around half the price of the top NAS of 2020. Both these units feature excellent Quad-Core CPUs at well as arriving with 2-4GB of RAM and the ability to expand that memory to 8GB (16GB unofficially). Both these units can run several NAS based VMs, as well as functioning very well as NAS HD Plex Media Servers. As you would expect, the cost-effective NAS devices to the left are the least powerful and their price and hardware are designed to be reflected in this.

 

1ST 2ND 3RD
Qnap Desktop NAS 10GbE+TB3 TVS-472XT-PT-4G 4-Bay RAID (4GB RAM, Pentium) + 10GbE + Thunderbolt 3

QNAP TVS-472XT NAS

Highest Price, but INSANE SPEEDS

Qnap Desktop NAS TVS-473e-4G 4-Bay RAID (4GB RAM)

QNAP TVS-473e NAS

Excellent Graphical Performance

QNAP TS-453D NAS

Great Price VS Performance

Best 4-Bay QNAP NAS – Ports and Connectivity

The technology behind NAS is not new and although it seems intimidating, it’s actually rather straight forward. A Network Attached Storage for Windows and Mac user is more than just Hard Drives you can access over the internet/network. Most QNAP NAS devices arrive with a multitude of ports ranging from USB and HDMI to Audio connections and Thunderbolt. You can even connect with a household IR remote control. Of course, the more you spend the more connections your NAS will tend to have, but this is not a strict rule and you will often find that if external means of connection are the most important factor in buying the right NAS for you, then you can save money on a cheaper NAS and still get a high level of NAS connectivity. Of all the NAS enclosures you can buy in the mid-range area, the QNAP TS-453Be is by far the most connectable, yet affordable. It features 2x HDMI ports, 5 USB 3.0, audio ports, 2 LAN ports, an optional remote control, a PCIe expandability slot for 10Gbe and SSD Caching and even a front-mounted LCD panel to give you real-time information. As you move further up the pack you will struggle to see more improvements on connections as the majority of the cost of a NAS goes into the software and that CPU and RAM. Though once you reach the £1000+ mark of 4-Bay NAS you will encounter Thunderbolt and multi-gigabit connectivity. That said, if you want a cheap NAS with excellent connections, the QNAP TS-451+ (though older) is still available to buy and is the one for those looking for performance on a stricter budget. One of the lower-cost NAS devices, it includes USB 2.0, USB 3.0, HDMI and a remote. Alongside this, there are numerous budget options that arrive with Realtek processors and 10Gbe. Below is the best you can get and what they can give you.

 

1ST 2ND 3RD
Qnap Desktop NAS 10GbE+TB3 TVS-472XT-PT-4G 4-Bay RAID (4GB RAM, Pentium) + 10GbE + Thunderbolt 3

QNAP TVS-472XT NAS

PCIe, 10Gbe,USB3.1 Gen 2

TB3, 2x 1Gbe USB 3.0, HDMI 2.0

THIS HAS EVERYTHING!!!

Qnap Desktop NAS TVS-473e-4G 4-Bay RAID (4GB RAM)

QNAP TVS-473e NAS

USB Quick Access, HDMI,

4x 1Gbe USB 3.0, 2x PCIe

Excellent Connectivity for Media

Qnap Desktop NAS 10GbE+TB3 TS-453BT3-8G 4-Bay RAID (8GB RAM) + 10GbE + Thunderbolt 3

QNAP TS-453BT3 NAS

10Gbe, m.2 SSD Cache

TB3, 2x 1Gbe USB 3.0, HDMI 1.4

Affordable High Connectivity

Best 4-Bay QNAP NAS – Expansions and Upgrades

Even though you are purchasing this solution to resolve a storage issue today, you still have to think of the future. When you buy your NAS, it may seem like boundless terabytes of storage at the start, but all too soon, the hardware can struggle, the connections can see slow and the Terrabytes only have gigabytes free! If you are serious about future-proofing your NAS to ensure you get a network-attached storage device with a future, then think about expandability and upgrades early on and prepare for the future. Almost all QNAP 4-Bay NAS devices can connect a NAS expansion chassis. Several options are available, such as the TR-002 and TR-004 Hardware RAID solutions, 5 Bay QNAP JBOD expansion UX-500P or the 8-Bay NAS expansion UX-800P. Next, you can expand the memory so your NAS can multitask and handle more and bigger tasks. Lastly, there is the ability to upgrade the network connection itself. Almost all QNAP NAS arrives with 1GBe connections in RJ45 form. However, some arrive with or can be expanded with the ability to adopt 10GB, that is 10Gigabits per second (upto 1000MB/s) network connections. This is a form of connectivity that is appealing to photo and video editors, allowing them to edit files DIRECTLY on the NAS at a speed that is the same/higher than editing on the SSD on their local PC/Mac. In recent years it has become far more common and more affordable, hence the ability to upgrade to this connection being so attractive as a future-proofing option.

In terms of expandability and upgrade options, the clear winner here is the TVS-472XT, as it arrives with 10Gbe and TB3, but also can support more PCIe NICs for more ports, along with increased Memory upto 64GB od DDR4, as well as to multiple expansion units. The QNAP TVS-472XT 4-bay NAS is truly the unit to buy if you want a NAS that will grow alongside your business.

 

1ST 2ND 3RD
Qnap Desktop NAS 10GbE+TB3 TVS-472XT-PT-4G 4-Bay RAID (4GB RAM, Pentium) + 10GbE + Thunderbolt 3

QNAP TVS-472XT NAS

2x Thunderbolt Expansion

4x  USB NAS Expansion

Upgradable to 64GB Memory

3x PCIe Slots and NVMe Slots

GPU Card Support

MOST Expandable & Upgradable

Qnap Desktop NAS TVS-473e-4G 4-Bay RAID (4GB RAM)

QNAP TVS-473e NAS

4x  USB NAS Expansion

Upgradable to 64GB Memory

2x PCIe Slots and m.2 SATA Slots

GPU Card Support

VERY Good Expandability

QNAP TS-453D NAS

4x  USB NAS Expansion

Upgradable to 8GB Memory

1x PCIe 2×4 Slots

Most Expandable Mid-Range NAS

Best 4-Bay QNAP NAS – Power Consumption and Noise Levels

The amount of power that your NAS device will use is controlled by numerous factors, ranging from the CPU and Memory, the PSU on the device and the ports and connections it supports. Power consumption is becoming a more pressing issue now that people are more inclined to leaving there NAS devices on 24/7 and constantly synchronising and backing up to it. Clearly, from these results, you can see that the power consumption on the QNAP TVS-472XT is by far the highest. If your primary concern in making your NAS purchase is power/watts used, then this is where many of the cost-effective NAS devices on the left will save you money both today AND tomorrow! However, for the perfect balance of ability VERSUS power consumption, then the QNAP TBS-453DX – an SSD optimized NAS that arrives with a newer gen intel CPU, 10Gbe and True 4K HDMI, but still lower power and noise levels. Of course, NOISE is a factor for many users in close proximity to the NAS device in an office or home environment, so more metallic designed NAS chassis will always make a little more noise as the HDDs spin in access. Likewise, you will notice that the noise rises and falls directly with the power consumption due to parts, chips and hardware in general working harder and increasing background noise.  Once again, the perfect balance comes in the form of the micro-based SSD NAS based solutions, the QNAP HS-453DX and TBS-453DX.

 

1ST 2ND 3RD
Qnap Desktop NAS TS-431P 4-Bay RAID (1GB RAM)

QNAP TS-431P NAS

HDD standby: 11.65W
In operation: 26.7W
(with 4 x 1TB HDD installed)

19.5 dB(A )Noise Level

Tiny Impact on your Environment

Qnap Desktop NAS TS-431X2-2G 4-Bay RAID (2GB RAM) + 10GbE SFP+

QNAP TS-431K NAS

HDD standby: 11.65W
In operation: 26.7W
(with 4 x 1TB HDD installed)

19.5 dB(A )Noise Level

Very Low Noise & Power Use

Qnap NASbook TBS-453DX-4G 4-Bay M.2 SATA SSD RAID (4GB RAM) + 10GbE

QNAP TBS-453DX NAS

In operation: 13.23 W
Drive standby: 12.38 W

15.8 dB(A )Noise Level

Quiet & Low Power Use SSD+10Gbe NAS

 

Best 4-Bay QNAP NAS – Hardware and Speed

At the risk of being vulgar, It’s not about how big it is, but what you do with it! Never has a truer word been spoken (in storage at least) than when it comes to 4-Bay enclosure drives. In the area of what a NAS can do, it is often the case that the more you spend, the more you can do! It’s sad but true and if you have big ideas on your NAS, then you are going to have to be prepared to pay for it. As you can see from left to right, the options and abilities of the NAS grow with each unit and moreover, the depth and width of those services grow too. More cameras for your NAS Surveillance station, more Apple Time Machine Images to store, more virtual machines for you to run and the more complex media applications you can perform you can include.

After that, the advantages move away from the potential of a CPU (eg an Intel Celeron vs an Intel i5) and maximum memory, and over to more comprehensive and broad hardware connectivity, with the top end featuring 10Gbe and Thunderbolt. Buying a NAS to house all your data for you to securely access is all fair and well, but eventually sooner or later you are going to want to access it! The speed with which you can read, write, upload and download your data is dictated by things like the CPU, the RAM, the number of Gigabit LAN ports available and the, of course, the drives you choose. But like before, you will often find that the more you spend, the faster your access to and form data will be. However, there are exceptions to the rule. Noticeably the QNAP TS-453Be, for example, arrives at a modest price point but still features some impressive internal speeds, as well as the ability to upgrade the device to a 10Gbe connection down the line. Though the base speeds are possible thanks to that Quad-Core CPU, the expandable RAM and those 2 LAN ports, it can achieve almost the highest level of read and write speed at its price point. However, for those that want their NAS performance speed to be utterly unimpeded by the potential bottleneck of a more CPU intensive RAID configuration, like RAID 5/6, then you will need a much for power file handing processors, such as an AMD Ryzen, Xeon or Intel Core. You will also need to look for NAS that have 10Gbe ports as standard, as these will feature Aquantia network controllers inside that will take alot of the hard work from the processor to maintain those top-end speeds. In this category, you need to look at QNAP NAS such as the QNAP TS-677, TVS-473e and TVS-472XT, as these three NAS arrive with hardware inside and out that can handle HDD/SSD media or BOTH in a cache setup with greater ease

 

1ST 2ND 3RD
Qnap Desktop NAS 10GbE+TB3 TVS-472XT-PT-4G 4-Bay RAID (4GB RAM, Pentium) + 10GbE + Thunderbolt 3

QNAP TVS-472XT NAS

Intel Pentium CPU, upto 64GB Memory, Thunderbolt 3,

10Gbe, NVMe SSD Bays, USB 3.1 Gen 2

Fastest, Inside and Out!

Qnap Desktop NAS TVS-473e-4G 4-Bay RAID (4GB RAM)

QNAP TVS-473e NAS

AMD Radeon R7 Powered CPU, upto 64GB Memory,

10Gbe Ready, SATA SSD Bays

Excellent File & Media Speed

Qnap NASbook TBS-453DX-4G 4-Bay M.2 SATA SSD RAID (4GB RAM) + 10GbE

QNAP TBS-453DX NAS

Celeron J4000 Series CPU, upto 32GB Memory (unofficial),

10Gbe Enabled, SATA SSD Storage ONLY

Quiet, Petite, FAST!

 

Best 4-Bay QNAP NAS – Plex Media Server and Streaming

Plex Media Server, or simply PLEX, is one of the most popular ways that users choose to access their own digital media. It arrives with the slick and user-friend graphical user interface (GUI) that you would find on streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime, as well as the metadata inclusion of background information on your media and the imagery, but all using your OWN media. Practically all 4-Bay NAS from QNAP can be used as a NAS Plex Media Server and if you intend to stream HD media to other HD Media enabled Network Attached Storage Devices like Smart TVs and PC’s throughout the home, then you can afford to be choosy (with any additional spending mainly just increasing thumbnail, image and manipulate speeds. However, if you want to access 1080p HD media on your NAS Plex PMS, but want to stream it to your NAS devices with lower screen resolutions, less space to store media on the fly or NAS items that cannot play the original file format (eg .MKV or .m4b), then you have to think about Plex Media Server Transcoding on your NAS. As you can see, different NAS servers from QNAP feature different levels of Plex Media Server transcoding and choosing the right one for your media setup is important. Whilst we are talking about transcoding, it is important not to mix up Plex Media Server transcoding and Native Transcoding on your NAS. Plex is a surprisingly resource consuming software. This is due to all the transcoding being required by media server device (the NAS). However, if you are not a fan of Plex or just want to use native transcoding via DLNA, the QNAP Mobile and Desktop Apps for Windows, Android, iOs and Mac, then native transcoding is your concern. As you can see from the details below, three of the NAS devices can transcoding all the way upto 1080p and 4K Media and if you are mostly concerned with high-density media transcoding, these are the NAS devices for you!

 

1ST 2ND 3RD
Qnap Desktop NAS 10GbE+TB3 TVS-472XT-PT-4G 4-Bay RAID (4GB RAM, Pentium) + 10GbE + Thunderbolt 3

QNAP TVS-472XT NAS

2x 1080p/4K Native Transcoding, 1x1080p/4K Plex Trancoding

Fastest, Inside and Out!

Qnap Desktop NAS TVS-473e-4G 4-Bay RAID (4GB RAM)

QNAP TVS-473e NAS

AMD Radeon R7 Powered CPU, upto 64GB Memory,

10Gbe Ready, SATA SSD Bays

Excellent File & Media Speed

Qnap NASbook TBS-453DX-4G 4-Bay M.2 SATA SSD RAID (4GB RAM) + 10GbE

QNAP TBS-453DX NAS

Celeron J4000 Series CPU, upto 32GB Memory (unofficial),

10Gbe Enabled, SATA SSD Storage ONLY

Quiet, Petite, FAST!

 

Best 4-Bay QNAP NAS – Surveillance and NVR

Many users are coming around the idea of Home, office and retail NAS based surveillance. There are many advantages to Network Attached Storage Surveillance, NVR or NAS CCTV. As most QNAP devices arrive with HDMI ports and the ability to connect peripheral devices like keyboards and a mouse, they make excellent standalone Surveillance solutions. When making the choice for the right Surveillance setup around a QNAP NAS, always take a moment to check how many licences are included, the maximum number of cameras available and the QVPC sticker – as this will indicate whether you can create a standalone surveillance solution. Additionally, in order to create the right surveillance set up in your home or office using a NAS drive, you need to consider how many IP cameras you are planning on using, as well as the amount of recording space you are going to need to have available. All QNAP NAS use the QTS software and operating system to operate, as well as any QNAP 4-Bay NAS that features a 64bit x86 CPU (Intel/AMD) supporting both Surveillance Station and QVR Pro. The more powerful the NAS, the more features and simultaneous cameras can be used at once in your surveillance setup. This will result in more and more recording space being required, so though all of these solutions are 4-Bay NAS drives, you will need a more powerful solution to support a safer RAID level, decent redundancy vs capacity storage performance and many cameras at once.

 

1ST 2ND 3RD
Qnap Desktop NAS TVS-473e-4G 4-Bay RAID (4GB RAM)

QNAP TVS-473e NAS

Supports QVR Pro and Surveillance Station,

Supports upto 80/40 Cameras Respectively,

Massively Expandable, Graphically enabled

Best Remote, Standalone KVM

and High-end IP Cameras NAS Choice

Qnap Desktop NAS TS-431X2-2G 4-Bay RAID (2GB RAM) + 10GbE SFP+

QNAP TS-431K NAS

Supports Surveillance Station ONLY,

Supports upto 25 Cameras,

Low Noise, Power, Impact

Budget Surveillance and NVR

QNAP TS-453D NAS

Supports QVR Pro and Surveillance Station,

Supports upto 80/40 Cameras Respectively,

Very Expandable, Need 8GB for all features

Best Affordable Remote, Standalone KVM

and IP Cameras NAS Choice

 

Best QNAP 4-Bay NAS – In Summary

The QNAP Range of 4-Bay NAS devices is pretty diverse, with several solutions available to tailor different storage needs. Each one has it’s own choice of hardware on offer and without a clear idea of each device’s strengths and weaknesses in different storage uses (eg Surveillance, Plex, VMs, basic storage, etc) then you will get lost pretty quick. So, before we talk about the Best QNAP 4-Bay, let’s take a moment to look at each 4-Bay QNAP available to buy right now:

Affordable Business QNAP 4-Bay NAS Drives:

Qnap Desktop NAS TS-431P 4-Bay RAID (1GB RAM) Qnap Desktop NAS TS-431P2-1G 4-Bay RAID (1GB RAM) Qnap Desktop NAS TS-431X-2G 4-Bay RAID (2GB RAM) + 10GbE SFP+ Qnap Desktop NAS TS-431X2-2G 4-Bay RAID (2GB RAM) + 10GbE SFP+

QNAP TS-431P NAS

Annapurna Labs AL-212 2-Core,

1.7GHz + 1GB Memory,  2x 1Gbe

USB 3.0 – £310

QNAP TS-431P2 NAS

Annapurna Labs AL-314 4-Core,

1.7GHz + 1/4GB Memory,  2x 1Gbe

USB 3.0 – £350

QNAP TS-431X NAS

Annapurna Labs AL-212 2-Core,

1.7GHz + 2/8GB Memory,  2x 1Gbe

1x10Gbe SFSP+, USB3.0 – £395

QNAP TS-431X2 NAS

Annapurna Labs AL-314 4-Core,

1.7GHz + 2/8GB Memory,  2x 1Gbe

1x10Gbe SFSP+, USB3.0 – £415

Home, Multimedia and ProSumer QNAP 4-Bay NAS Drives

Qnap Desktop NAS TS-451+-2G 4-Bay RAID (2GB RAM) Qnap Desktop NAS TS-453Be-2G 4-Bay RAID (2GB RAM) Qnap Desktop NAS 10GbE+TB3 TS-453BT3-8G 4-Bay RAID (8GB RAM) + 10GbE + Thunderbolt 3

QNAP TS-451+ NAS

Intel Celeron J1900 2.0GHz

Quad Core + 2/8GB Memory,

2x 1Gbe USB 3.0, HDMI 1.4 – £450

QNAP TS-453Be NAS

Intel Celeron J3455 1.5-2.3GHz

Quad Core + 2/4/8GB Memory, PCIe

2x 1Gbe USB 3.0, HDMI 1.4 – £500

QNAP TS-453D NAS

Intel Celeron J4125 2.0-2.7GHz

Quad Core + 4/8GB RAM, PCIe,

, USB-3&2, 2x 2.5Gbe, HDMI 2.0

QNAP TS-453BT3 NAS

Intel Celeron J3455 1.5-2.3GHz

Quad Core + 4/8GB RAM, PCIe, 10Gbe,

TB3, 2x 1Gbe USB 3.0, HDMI 1.4 – £1,130

Business and Enterprise Class QNAP 4-Bay NAS

Qnap Desktop NAS TS-473-4G 4-Bay RAID (4GB RAM) - no HDMI or GPU Qnap Desktop NAS TVS-473e-4G 4-Bay RAID (4GB RAM) Qnap NASbook TBS-453DX-4G 4-Bay M.2 SATA SSD RAID (4GB RAM) + 10GbE Qnap Desktop NAS 10GbE+TB3 TVS-472XT-PT-4G 4-Bay RAID (4GB RAM, Pentium) + 10GbE + Thunderbolt 3

QNAP TS-473 NAS

AMD R Series RX-421ND 4 Core

2.1-3.4 GHz + 4/8/16/32/64GB Memory,

4x 1Gbe USB 3.0, 2x PCIe- £800

QNAP TVS-473e NAS

AMD R-Series RX-421BD 4-Core

2.1-3.4 GHz + 4/8/16/32/64GB Memory,

HDMI, 4x 1Gbe USB 3.0, 2x PCIe- £950

QNAP TBS-453DX NAS

Intel Celeron J4105 1.5-2.5GHz

4 Core + 4/8GB RAM, 10Gbe, 1x 1Gbe

Audio In/Out, USB 3.0, HDMI 2.0 – £580

QNAP TVS-472XT NAS

Intel Pentium G5400T 3.1GHz

2 Core + 4/816/32/64GB RAM, PCIe, 10Gbe,

TB3, 2x 1Gbe USB 3.0, HDMI 2.0 – £1,250

 

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